A real race with real people

It’s been a good week since I posted my tale of (entirely self-imposed) woe last Wednesday. I have achieved quite a lot I think. For a start, there has – thankfully – been no repeat of the cider catastrophe. I’ve been pretty healthy all round actually. I even had a works do on Friday, but managed to go out and be dignified and respectable without the usual embarrassment (wine spillage, random insults, feeling of remorse). OK OK, so the wine bottle was nearly empty every time it came round to me. But I still think it counts for something right? You could almost say I was growing up.

On a more important note though, I have stuck to my training plan for the entire week. Since my last update, I have run over 30 miles. Another marathon down then.

It’s been pretty tough some of it. I’m used to just going out and running for an extended period of time, but PROPER TRAINING, i.e. for an actual race, has required me to do all kinds of interval runs on top and stuff. The one that has killed me the most this week is the “tempo run”. Not done one of these before. Run slow for a bit to warm up, then run at an uncomfortably fast pace for 20 minutes, then a light jog home. Believe me, that 20 minutes feels like a fucking lifetime. A minute or so of thinking, hang on, I feel great, I’m actually pretty good at this, followed by about another minute of thinking, shit, I might have started a bit faster than I should have, then a minute of confirmation of the initial fears, followed by a feeling of crushing devastation when I realise that I’ve actually been running for about 30 seconds and am only 1/40th of the way through the meat of the run.

It’s not all been bad though. I’ve been mostly running round the park instead of Manchester’s roads which has proved to be a nice change of scenery. Rather than running alongside hordes of stinking buses while sweating and getting abused by passers by, I’m now running alongside trees and bushes while sweating and getting abused by passers by. Instead of spraining my ankle running off a kerb trying to cross a road, I’m being joined by random dogs running alongside me while their owners stand there laughing. Instead of dodging the tramps in Withington, I saw a bird take on a squirrel, and win. The park is bloody brilliant.

So a good week then, but a somewhat intimidating weekend ahead. No, not that kind of weekend. No cider and wine benders for the foreseeable. Although actually, in two weeks time I will be at Glastonbury, so let’s not be too hasty.

No, the intimidation comes in the form of the Liverpool Tunnel 10k I will be running in three days time. Three days! Where has all the time gone? Three days to go until I run in a real race, with real people. It’s been a while since I last ran in a real race with real people, the 2009 Great North Run being the last occasion. I am predicting some (all?) of the following events:

  1. Needing to go for a piss while waiting for the start
  2. Running too fast for first 3km trying to overtake people
  3. Knackered with 7km to go due to running too fast for first 3km trying to overtake people
  4. Tunnel hell
  5. Overtaken by at least one person in elaborate fancy dress
  6. Conditions too hot / too cold / too windy / too rainy / too Scouse
  7. Feeling great with 100 yards to go
  8. Feeling terrible 0.02 seconds after finishing
  9. Sweating for about 3 hours after finishing
  10. Congratulatory pint of Stella in the first pub I can find

Should be a good day. Wish me luck.

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